It’s no secret that we hold our team in high esteem around here. They are the heart and soul of Blackbird Brewery and we want to bring that into the beer we serve. Eventually, each one of our valuable team members will create a beer in collaboration with Ian. The first release of our team series, A Little Hustle, is a West Coast IPA made in collaboration with Lexie to celebrate the release of her new single, “Work.” This time around, we’ll shine the spotlight on the man you all know and love, Deke!
Deke is an IPA man who has lived in many places around the world. The name “Big Trees” comes from his time living in Arnold, a small town southwest of Lake Tahoe in California. The town of Arnold, with an elevation of about 4,000 feet in Calaveras County, bordered a huge state park called Calaveras Big Trees State Park. When asked about this inspiring place, Deke said, “I wanted to do something that reminded me of my time in California, which was really cool and memorable. That time meant a lot to me.” He added that the name “Big Trees” is not only playing homage to a place he loved. “It also gives a nod to the really good unapologetically piney IPAs I grew accustomed to drinking when I was out there.”
When reflecting on his favorite non-Blackbird Brewery beer, Deke always comes back to Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. Typically released around this same time of year. What he likes most about the beer is that while it’s an IPA at heart, it’s amber in color with an unapologetically herbal and piney hop flavor. With the Celebration Ale as their inspiration, he and Ian set out to create a holiday style IPA.
I’m an IPA guy. I don’t drink much amber stuff. I explained to Ian that I wanted to make a celebration ale because though they are amber in color, the malty, biscuity bread flavors aren’t too sweet when they’re balanced with Cascade and Centennial hops…I just love those herbal and piney hops; it’s a #! @*&% good beer!
Big Trees – Celebration-style IPA
Per Deke’s request (the brewers seemed pretty into it too!), we paid tribute to a cult classic beer made for over 40 years by one of the pioneers of craft brewing. We took extra measures to source quality Oregon grown Cascade and Centennial hops to get a fresh piney hop character to blend harmoniously with dark caramel malts for a pleasantly bitter and old school red-orange IPA. 7.2% ABV
We’re all pretty stoked about this celebration-style IPA! We’ll introduce it on tap and in cans in the next few days. Come see what all the fuss is about!